I was a little concerned about carrying on through the book of Joshua as basically the story continues on with the sharing out the land! I figured that illustrating it would basically just involve drawing lots of maps on my bible pages! Don’t get me wrong – maps are useful and good (who doesn’t love a good map right?) but I was a little concerned that they might not have the impact or application that I have grown to know and love from my bible journal-ling process! It is funny though how I am discovering time and time again that this new method of bible study for me is breathing new life and causing me to see things from a fresh perspective. Old favourite stories no longer come across as over-familiar but are alive in a way that is speaking right into my today. And the tough pages where I can’t for the life of me think what I could possible draw and paint to express what they communicate often end up being the moments when I feel God step in and whisper something so specific and personal to my heart that I’m left a little breathless!
And so I continue my journey onwards into Joshua, and amidst the delegation of lands to tribes, and in between the drawing of boundaries on maps, we find they most incredible treasures of stories. Stories about real people just like you and me – who lived lives overshadowed by a Faithful God. Chapter 14 we are re-introduced to Caleb. What a guy! Way back some 45 years previously he had been sent with a group of men to spy out the promised land and to bring back a report of what the people of Israel should expect. After 40 days of scouting out the land they returned with grapes and figs and pomegranates, and a description of a land as flowing with milk and honey! All sounds good, no? They also told of the land being filled with terrifying giants too big and powerful to defeat – at least most of them did.
“But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it!”” Numbers 13:30
While his whole peer group gave into fear and influenced their culture with their perspective of feeling small, weak and intimidated, Caleb had a “different spirit” and followed God fully! (Numbers 14:24). He and Joshua were the only men from that group of spies who lived to go into the promised land! Everyone else, who partnered with fear, didn’t get to prove themselves wrong. They didn’t get to defeat the giants or enjoy the pomegranates! But here we see Caleb at the age of 85….
“I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites (giants!) were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said!”
What a legend. I want to be like Caleb! I want to have a different spirit to the culture I live in. I don’t want to conform to the majority opinion because it’s easier. I don’t want to partner with fear! I want to look at my circumstances and my promises with eyes of faith! I want to defeat giants, even though I might seem a grasshopper size compared to the things I face in life, but my God’s promises are SO MUCH BIGGER than even the hugest, hairiest, smelliest giant out there. Compared to Him they are nothing! I want to live like Caleb did – following the Lord wholeheartedly – not lukewarm or tossed about and distracted. I don’t want to be a flash in the pan – burning hot and burning out but to live believing God that He will continue to lead me year after year, decade after decade. I want to inherit the promises of God like Caleb did with faith and patience, and to keep on running with strength and vigour!
I love God’s assessment of Caleb is wholehearted. What a great word – not fainthearted like his friends. Not double minded or divided in his affection. His whole heart belonged to God! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day, when my time has come and I get to go and meet Jesus face to face, that that would be His assessment of me?! Makes me want to sing…
“Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul. I live for you alone. Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake, Lord have your way in me!” (*This is my desire, Reuben Morgan)
Hope reading this makes you want to sing too. Have a great week lovely ones. Love Rach x